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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reflecting on the Bunbury Music Festival

Photo courtesy of Craig Weiglein/Mansion Hill Studio

The Bunbury Music Festival is a month behind us, but here at FortThomasMatters, we're still reliving the festival's glory days. Members of the FortThomasMatters brain trust attended the three-day festival at Sawyer Point, and experienced everything the event had to offer.

This year's lineup brought in a plethora of nationally known and critically acclaimed acts to
Photo courtesy of Craig Weiglein/Mansion Hill Studio
Cincinnati. FUN., MGMT, and the The National each served as headliners throughout the weekend. In my opinion, the festival is at its best when featuring local music acts. The National, Walk the Moon, The Pinstripes, The Harlequins, and DAAP Girls were just some of the local bands to grace the stages of Bunbury. The festival did bring out many of the area's hipster contingent, but it also appealed to any type of music fan. 
I spoke with Alex Duckworth, a 2004 graduate of Highlands High School and also a member of DAAP Girls, about his experiences performing at Bunbury. Festival organizers contacted the band to play the festival, and they were honored to be included in the event. According to Duckworth, the festival not only strives to keep attendees happy, but also works hard to make the experience memorable for the performers. The festival organizers made sure every band was taken care of during the weekend. 
Duckworth described the crowd as "excellent" during the DAAP Girls performance. He also believes that Bunbury is a great platform for local talent. "Bunbury is good at bringing in national acts, and making sure local acts are also on the bill. It was good to see local bands represented," said Duckworth. He thinks that the festival shows that Cincinnati is on the way to becoming more recognizable in the music scene. "I think each year it will get a little bigger. It will become less of a weekend distraction, and more of a destination for people all over the region to come and enjoy great music," said Duckworth.

Bunbury is still in its infancy, and is sure to have a few growing pains over the years. At times, it seems as though it's trying to hard to be Brooklyn circa 2008 (I'm looking at you MGMT and Chairlift). In my opinion, the festival is at its best when showcasing local acts. I believe that as long as it doesn't try to be a "Lollapalooza South" or an Ohio version of Coachella, it has a chance at truly cultivating its own identity. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how Bunbury grows and evolves in the future.

Photo courtesy of Craig Weiglein/Mansion Hill Studio

In many ways, Bunbury is more than just a music festival. It's a place for local music fans to gather and commune for a weekend. Festival organizers make an effort to ensure that attendees have an enjoyable experience whether they are there for one day of the festival or all three. This year, the FortThomasMatters crew was impressed with the amount of locally owned restaurants serving up delicious food for festival-goers. There was a selection of your staple festival fare, but also some healthy options available to enjoy while waiting for the next band to hit the stage.

Bunbury also understands that in today's society, media and technology often go hand in hand with attending concerts. They provided a "TechBury" tent, which contained phone chargers and free wifi for the tech savvy folks to use throughout the weekend. Oh, and the air conditioned tent was definitely hit even for those luddites in attendance.

Tickets are already available for the 2014 festival. Will you be going next year? Which bands would you like to see take the stage in 2014?


  1. Is this news? This happened more than a month ago.

  2. Better late than never. Remember that the writers provide this service on the side, and it is not their full-time job. Ms. Class has a great writing style, and I will miss her movie articles in The Inside Fort Thomas paper.

  3. Steph has been a great addition to FTM and she did a great job with the article.

    I wish we could all do FTM full time. The only way to get there is by doing this: